I really enjoyed season 1 and was looking forward to the start of season 2. The premiere episode really rocked and I was full of high hopes. Despite making Alex wear orange, he was awesome as the angry prisoner (I can never get too much of aneurysm face) and when he was doing those push ups I nearly keeled over in my lounge room. The whole breakout-of-jail thing was a thrill ride and we were also treated to some nice shirtless moments as Max patched up our hero after he was shanked in prison. The only downer there was the lack of gecko and an exceptionally bad orange make up job over said gecko. Perhaps McG had a new prison uniform on and some of the colour rubbed off? Read the instructions laundry people – you should always wash before wearing! Anyway, I also liked the humour in the Max scene – quirky Max with his Stars Trek references and fear of watching the news=laughs.
Another notable aspect of the premiere was the introduction of Joe White, Steve’s former commanding officer, whom Danny initially calls for help to get Steve out of prison. Joe, unlike Danny, likes the idea of living in an island paradise so he stays on. Guess he’s OK with pineapple on pizza then. As season 2 progresses, Joe continues to feature in the whole search for Shelburne thing and basically thwarts Steve at every turn. We’re still not really sure what’s going on there. Well, I’m not anyway.
By the end of the premiere, Steve is out of orange and back in cargoes (thanks writers!) and is cleared of any charges of murdering the Governor by the new Governor, all due to a rather informative video that was obtained from a Japanese man who’s name I can’t remember and whose role in the whole thing I can’t remember either. (I think it is Mokoto, a Pearl Harbour vet and friend of Pops. Somebody look this up please and correct me if I am wrong. Thank you.)
Not so lucky is Kono, who takes a hit for the team, for the stolen asset forfeiture money. I liked this story arch initially but it didn’t really work out for me because Kono seemed to be left high and dry by her so-called ohana which was totally inconsistent writing IMHO. After building up the ohana in season 1, I thought it poor form by the writers to avoid the whole issue of the team going in to bat for Kono. Did they know she was undercover, working for Fryer to ferret out cops gone bad (Delano)? Dunno. That McG gave Fryer a smack on the chops when Kono was finally allowed to play in the sandpit with the others again seems to suggest not. But what would I know?
Right, because Kono was absent from the team for a few episodes while undercover, the writers thought it necessary to bring in another female character to stand around the Magic Computer Table to press buttons and make sweeping movements with her hands to uncover vital information in a matter of seconds. Was this the reason why Lori Weston was introduced? Not sure but things went to hell in a hand basket after said LW was introduced IMHO. This happened in episode 2 and we were stuck with Lori until episode 16, this representing a black spot in the season for me and one I try not to think too much about. However, there is always a silver lining. And in episode 2, it came in the form of McG reading the Woman’s Day in the Governor’s waiting area. The Woman’s Day? I totes had visions of him ripping out a baked cheesecake recipe from the magazine and pocketing it when no one was looking. We’ve all done it, right? Another silver lining was that McG looked rather fetching in his suit and blue shirts (am a sucker for the blue) and later in the episode, he looked rather sexy riding a horse. Well, his stunt double did but McG did also.
So, getting back to Lori, I know you all have discussed this to death and there is some disagreement over the character and the actress who played her, Lauren German. I am not going to go over old ground here and bore you all to death. I will say, though: “writers, what were you thinking?” I reckon Chin and Kono have a bum steer when it comes to screen time as it is, so why introduce a new character when (a) Kono’s absence was only brief and (b) the time without Kono could have been spent giving Chin some more screen time? I thought after only one season there was no need to fiddle with the Fab Four (although some fiddling with McG would be fine with me J I mean ME fiddling with him, not the writers, that is). The initial premise around LW’s introduction, to keep an eye on the team, was a good one, but it just wasn’t written like that. The only thing she kept an eye on was the FOY and she made a complete ninny out of herself with a très embarrassing scene with Chin in a motel room (as part of the COTW, not what you were all thinking!) and by declaring, in the most awkies moment ever, that she had feelings for McG. With a PS to the whole team. Sheesh. Now I would be totes awkward around him, too, if I was ever graced with his presence, but the woman was supposed to be a professional and this was a rather silly way for her to exit. Terrible, terrible writing, methinks. But she exited and we all sighed a collective sigh of relief in our house. Yes, we knew she was exiting as, thanks to sh/t Oz tv, we were ages behind the US and I’d sneaked a peek online to find out when our purgatory was to end. But we still sighed anyway.
Despite saying that I would not go over old ground re Lori, here I am on my third paragraph about Lori. What gives? I don’t really have an opinion on LG as an actress although she doesn’t seem like Oscar material to me. However, Lori was very poorly written and she upset the bromance and was pushed front and centre by the writers and I just didn’t like that. I could detect ZERO chemistry with Alex; even he seemed relieved when she finally hit the road. I have no problem with additional characters – love Max, Kamekona, Jenna, Cath – but they need to serve a purpose and Lori did not. She was not, as you have all said before, the female McG. That is Kono. No one who looks that silly when she runs can be the female McG. On top of all that, where was the evidence of Lori keeping the team in check and reporting back to the Governor? Unless I missed something, it wasn’t there. Terrible writing again, methinks. One particular episode where I was most annoyed at her being in my face was the charity MMA fight episode. It should have been Danny giving McG his pre-match pep talk and smacking his hands on those boxing wrap thingies, not Lori. Silver lining again, though, we got to see McG shirtless in that episode and MMA fighting and getting his a/rse kicked. Love that silver lining. (And thanks to the writers for doing the old flashback thingiemebob so we got to see McG’s shirtless body twice in the one episode.)
Anyhoo, that’s enough of blathering on about Lori. The rest of this recap is going to be devoted to the whole Wo Fat/Shelburne thing because, really, nothing much else happened before the finale. Chin did get married to Malia and Kono started dating new Yakuza boss, Adam (will not go there re duct tape incident). Danny found out that his one-time deal with Rachel did not result in the new baby being his so there was more family angst there, ending with Danny determined to fight for custody (de ja vu anyone?) after Rachel announces she is now going to live in Vegas. She has chosen to take door number 2, behind which Step Stan stands, instead of door number 1, where our mate Danno is waiting patiently. Whatever the outcome here, I am hoping for more father-daughter interactions between Danno and Grace in season 3 and less of the custody stuff now that we’ve been through all that. TV Gods, I pray to thee now on bended knees.
I need to mention episode 2.10 before I forget which I think many of you agree was the best of the season. Alex totally knocked it out of the park as McG, donning his Superman cape and flying (in a plane we presume, not in his Superman cape) to North Korea to help Jenna rescue her fiancé. He was betrayed by Jenna and tortured by Wo Fat but all this gave us an awesome episode. Loved the team dashing off to North Korea (or actually driving down the road to film said scenes in some remote part of Hawaii) to rescue him. The rescue rocked and I totally got drawn into the whole ohana thing.
To wrap up season 2 then, we get little titbits of information about Shelburne all the way through the season and I must fess up to being a bit tired of it by the end. I get that it’s important and gives Steve some character development, but enough already! I know that in Australia we got the run around from channel 10 (FU ch10) with the show changing timeslots and being on one minute then off again, but I totally lost track of the storyline and the finer details. They probably don’t make much sense anyway, Show being Show. Essentially, the common thread amongst the key players is revenge and finding the truth. McG wants the truth about what happened to his parents and revenge on their killers and Wo Fat and Adam Noshimuri (son of Hiro, head of Yakuza and original subject of Poppa’s investigations) want same. It’s just that what these men want sometimes conflicts and causes grievous bodily harm to one or more of the others. Oh, and everyone wants to know who Shelburne is, the person most feared by Wo Fat, and where said Shelburne is currently located. The revenge theme also plays out with the Delano storyline. Delano was the bad cop with whom Kono associated at the beginning of the season and now he wants revenge for being locked up. Somehow Chin gets Delano out of prison (there you go again, Chin, wrong thing for the right reasons) after both Malia and Kono’s lives are in danger. Poor Chin has to make a Sophie’s Choice and we have to wait for season 3 to find out who was the chosen one. And what happens to the chickens.
So we end the season with Joe giving Steve the chance to find out the identity of Shelburne (finally!). We also end with Wo Fat in prison after McG finally busted his a/s in Japan, or busted it from the other side of Oahu, where it was made to look like Japan. Whatever. I’m still unsure of Joe’s involvement in the Shelburne thing or why he was protecting Noshimuri Senior if NS was supposedly behind the murder of MomMcG. Not to worry. There was speculation abounding as to the identity of Shelburne but we are at last put out of our collective misery by our final glimpse of the faaaacceeee as McG opens the door in a hut in Japan to find out that Shelburne is in fact HIS MOTHER. Who guessed it?
WARNING – DO NOT READ ON IF YOU HAVE NOT YET WATCHED 3.1 #SPOILERALERT
Season 3 has begun with a bang and a claw and we have thus far been treated to some kicka/se acting by Alex, as we expected to be. DDK was also rockin’ the emo in the opening episode of the season. Like many of you, I was not overly thrilled with the Mom storyline but so far I am pleased to see that there is some meat to it and hopefully we can expect good things as it plays out over the season. Also had doubts about Cath’s inclusion in the show – she has her name on the opening credits now which could spell disaster. Or not. Just hope the writers have learnt from the Lori debacle. As long as she doesn’t take anything away from the Fab Four and try to usurp Kono, then I think I am OK with it. Also, writers, do not descend into soap opera territory with the McG/Cath relationship thing. Please…..
Let’s sit back and enjoy the ride in season 3. Whatever happens, so far I am back in love with Show after falling out of it somewhat in the previous season. And, cheers to Alex’s return to good health.
Note to TBTB:
Like many others, I am just a tad hazy on the plot details surrounding Mom and Wo Fat. I accept Show for what it is – a wild thrill ride – and I am definitely entertained week after week. However, as we The Audience are not entirely stupid, we would like our Show to make some sense. Granted, a plot that makes sense can be a scooter when it comes to Alex/McG but that only goes so far. My suggestion is for you to take the writers, producers, executives and the people who do the catering and go off on one of those team bonding weekends. You know what I am talking about – those executive retreats where employees do crazy survival courses and sing songs around the campfire at night. While on said retreat, have a brainstorming session where all the bits of information that have been released to the audience across 3.01 seasons are discussed. Draw a concept map if you need to (sorry, the teacher in me couldn’t help but say that LOL). Then join the dots and see if they make sense. My money’s on them not. Then, have another brainstorming session and work out how to fix all that. Then I will be truly satisfied, just as if I had a visit from Super SEAL, complete with FOY. Thank you and good bye.
Pics from AOLR – http://alexoloughlinrocks.com/